Facebook’s privacy PR implosion began on Friday, March 17th, when the company tried to pre-empt forthcoming reports in The New York Times and the Guardian by announcing that it had banned a political consulting firm named Cambridge Analytica for misappropriating Facebook user data on some 50 million people. Just hours before that announcement went out, … Continued
UpFront Tech is a podcast of political conversations about technology and the tech industry.
We explore how new tech affects our brains, our relationships, our society and our politics; how tech companies affect the distribution of wealth and power, and how they’re transforming specific places — like the San Francisco Bay Area, where we live.
We don’t just ask what the future looks like — we ask what it should look like, and how to get there.
In the space of a few days, Facebook’s gotten itself back in the spotlight over its role in the 2016 election, dropped over $50 billion from its market valuation, gotten called on to testify in both the US Congress and the UK Parliament — all because it let data on 50 million users slip into … Continued
Once, the internet was a utopia, a new intellectual commons. Then it was a goldmine, where new businesses would stake their claim. For the past couple years, we’ve been been covering it as a swamp – a convening ground for trolls and Nazis, a platform for disinformation and and fake news, an impressive tool for … Continued
Last fall, the tech world was a-twitter over a post by Google employee James Damore suggesting the company’s gender diversity problem might have more to do with women’s genetics than the company’s culture, and complaining that the company was too politically correct to engage his arguments. That post—and the fact that he eventually got fired … Continued
Since the 2016 presidential election, Facebook’s drawn charges of amplifying fake news, selling political ads to Russia-associated accounts, and failing to enforce its own terms of service when it comes to bots, trolls, and harassers on its platform. Now, it turns out Facebook’s not only been serving as a platform for extremist political movements – … Continued
According to figures from San Francisco, on a typical weekday, companies like Uber and Lyft account for about 570,000 vehicle miles logged on city streets. During rush hour downtown, they account for roughly a quarter of the traffic. And survey research from UC Davis suggests more a lot of that traffic would not exist if … Continued
Every one of us lives in two places: in the flesh-and-blood physical world, and in the sprawling collection of data that we spin off every time we open an account, use a phone, walk by a camera, or . . . click something. That data is the bread and butter of the titans of tech … Continued
Guest: Sara Wachter-Boettcher, a web consultant who works on designing things for people to use – and has just written a book about how that process so often goes so horribly off-track. It’s called Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and other Threats of Toxic Tech. Like this? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts , or paste our feed link into any … Continued
In the past two weeks, investigations into Russian influence have hit US social media firms on two different fronts. The first was a series of hearings in Congress over the role of an alleged Russian troll farm in buying political ads on Facebook and Twitter. The second was part of the Paradise papers investigation – … Continued
America’s anti-trust laws were created after cutting-edge technologies, like rail travel, created natural monopolies. Are they up to dealing with today’s tech giants? Guest: Lina Khan, director of Legal Policy at Open Markets Institute. Author of this sprawling article on what Amazon’s actual business practices tell us about about the state of antitrust law. Like … Continued